Wednesday, November 14, 2007

You're probably not wondering...

. . . but I wanted to tell you all a little about Gustin's name, anyway.

I always have a hard time choosing boy names. I don't know why. I've got a long list of girls names that I love, but a proper boy name is just difficult. I don't want it to be too trendy or too common or too weird or too ordinary or you get the idea. It's also very important to me that my kids' names evoke some kind of feeling or remind me of a virtue or just generally are pleasant for me to reflect on.

For instance, for Jonathan we named him after the Biblical Jonathan who always makes me think of friendship and loyalty. Jonathan's middle name is Paul after St. Paul who makes me think of heroic courage and zeal for the Lord. Elizabeth is named after the Biblical Elizabeth and makes me think of motherhood, faith and patience. Her middle name is Bernadette and St. Bernadette was the ultimate model of humility.

Now, after the little aside, I need to get back to my main point. Gustin's name.

When we were discussing boy names, Eric and I started talking about historical men that we admire and of course St. Augustine's name came up. As soon as it was mentioned, Eric knew right away that it was the name. I was a little less certain. I liked that the name made me think of intelligence, rich theology and all of the other great qualities of this doctor of our church. But, Augustine just seemed like such a big name for a little person. And, I was afraid that it would be constantly mispronounced and misspelled. But, Eric talked me into it and I'm glad he did. It's a great name for my little boy.

But, it is constantly mispronounced and misspelled!

There are two correct ways to pronounce Augustine (I know, I did a bunch of research on it!). I've always heard it pronounced uh-gus-tin. But, many people pronounce it ah-gus-teen. Personally, I like uh-gus-tin but I don't particularly like ah-gus-teen. And, I never know if I should correct people when they say it wrong. I mean, they're not saying it wrong, they're just saying it the other way and I feel funny correcting people when they are actually correct. Know what I mean?

Anyway, when we told the kids the name of their new baby brother they immediately started calling him Gustin (like Justin but with a hard G). That name stuck and I thought it would solve the pronunciation and spelling issues. But, most people look at you funny when you tell them your child's name is Gustin because they have never heard it before and they think you are saying Justin or Austin instead.

Oh, well. Maybe one day we'll just give up and call him Gus. Surely there can be no confusion over that name!



P.S. Just in case you were wondering (or even if you weren't), Gustin's middle name is Luke, after the Gospel writer. St. Luke makes me think of fastidiousness, attention to detail and precision (he was a physician and historian).

5 comments:

Jill said...

Very interesting. I love hearing about names. We, too, put much thought into what our kids' names would portray.
And, regarding the inner European. I tried it and got Swedish. It actually seemed the most appropriate. Keep trying...eventually Texas will pop up!

Blair said...

Love his name (especially since we have our own little saint in Heaven, Augustine)! And I too love hearing the stories behind the names! I've always pronounced it uh-GUS-tin like you, although there is a lady in my homeschool group who had an Augustine around the same time as you but pronounces it the other way. I'd probably say something if someone kept repeating it wrong. But the nickname Gustin should help everyone figure it out! It's a beautiful name and an awesome saint! Someone told me St. Augustine's birthday was just the other day.

Lillian said...

I like the way you pronounce it too. I wouldn't be afraid of saying something. People frequantly call Anna, Ah-na. But we say On-na. And I correct people ALL the the time.

BTW, I love your children's names!

Colleen said...

Lillian,
Thanks for telling me how you say Anna's name. I've been pronouncing it wrong in my head when read it this entire time!

And thanks, Blair, for telling me that you have always pronounced it uh-gus-tin, too. I was starting to thing that I must have made up that pronunciation because everyone around here seems to say ah-gus-teen!

Emily said...

I love the name...
Hmmmm... maybe if we have a boy...